The political cavalry arrived Thursday for Patrick Murphy. His name was Barack Obama.
The president used a rousing campaign speech at Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens to talk up Murphy, the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate who remains unknown to many voters in Miami-Dade, the county with the largest number of Democrats in Florida.
But perhaps more importantly for Murphy, Obama issued a scathing indictment of Republican Sen. Marco Rubio — whom the president called out by name.
“I'm even more confused by Republican politicians who still support Donald Trump,” Obama said. “Marco Rubio is one of those people. How does that work? How can you call him a con artist and dangerous and object to all the controversial things he says and then say, ‘But I'm still gonna vote for him?' C'mon, man!”
Obama's screed continued.
“You know what that is, though? It is the height of cynicism,” he said. “That's the sign of someone who will say anything, do anything, pretend to be anybody just to get elected. And you know what? If you're willing to be anybody just to be somebody, then you don't have the leadership that Florida needs in the United States Senate.”
Though the president spent much of the afternoon promoting Hillary Clinton — and, especially, bashing Trump — he seemed to relish tearing into Rubio far more harshly — and more effectively — than Murphy ever has.
“Even Marco Rubio says there's no rigging of the vote,” Obama said, “which I'd like to give credit for — except he's refuting the dangerous, unprecedented claims of a candidate he says he's still going to vote for!”
Rubio, Obama concluded, “just seems to care about hanging on to his job.”
Murphy stood in the back of the university arena, watching in awe and smiling, like a student sitting in on a master class.